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Vertigo Swirl:
Anyone here a follower?


--- Quote from: Vertigo Swirl on January 16, 2021, 04:43:21 PM ---Anyone here a follower?

--- End quote ---

I had to look it up to find out what it is !!!

Vertigo Swirl:
Most big religions start off as cults — could QAnon ever go mainstream?
Matthew SyedJanuary 15 2021, 5.00pm
most striking thing about QAnon is that, like all the most successful start-ups, it is highly adaptable. It has deftly pivoted from a series of mainly secular claims about child abuse to unfalsifiable prophecies about the Great Awakening — the phrase that is used to describe the evangelical revival in America in the 18th century — and the Great Storm, something that bears an uncanny resemblance to the Second Coming of the New Testament.
This is why QAnon is perhaps better thought of as not a conspiracy theory but a cult. Only from this vantage point can you see why it has made such remarkable inroads into the fundamentalist branches of Christianity. Ed Stetzer, an influential writer, lamented this trend in Christianity Today under the headline: “Christians repent (yes, repent) for spreading conspiracy theories and fake news.”

Marc-André Argentino, a researcher who has scrutinised the cult, has written: “The neo-charismatic movement ... is made up of thousands of independent organisations — where QAnon conspiracy theories are reinterpreted through the Bible ... Their objective is to train congregants to form their own home congregations in the future and grow the movement.”

Although many will say it is unfair, perhaps even insulting, to compare QAnon to mainstream religions, it is worth remembering that all today’s mass theologies were, at one time, the subversive fantasies of a single person that grew into a cult and from there into a fully fledged religion.

Mormonism started out with a young farmer from Vermont, who claimed that he had been visited by an angel and had translated a set of inscriptions on gold plates telling of the history of an ancient American civilisation. Today, it is a world religion with more than 16 million believers.

Pentecostalism, the strain of Christianity in which I grew up, was a rather obscure sect in early 20th-century Los Angeles but has since grown to a total of 280 million adherents. As for Islam and Hinduism, they command global followings of 1.8 billion and 1.2 billion respectively.

In this context, the prospects of QAnon may look promising, particularly now that it is leaning towards a more worked-through theology that will doubtless, in time, play down references to Trump. It has a growing digital following estimated in the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, along with prominent backers. An article in The Times yesterday told of John Mappin, a jewellery heir and soft porn actor, who has taken to flying a flag over his hotel in Cornwall with the symbol “Q”. Other figureheads include the brother of the model Jodie Kidd and a former Labour councillor.

In America, QAnon is high profile. On July 4, Michael Flynn, former director of the US Defence Intelligence Agency and national security adviser, pledged an oath to the group. Jacob Chansley, a “Q shaman”, is now a hero to his fellow believers as the chap with the buffalo horns, tattoos and facepaint who recently stormed the Capitol. Ashli Babbitt, who was shot by police during the farcical insurrection, will probably be regarded as the cult’s first martyr. Over a three-year period, her Twitter feed went from sanity to subversion, fuelled by fellow cultists.

But while some are now wondering if QAnon will make the transition to fully fledged religion through sheer dint of numbers, I would suggest that the odds are very low indeed.

First, the survival rate for new religions has historically been tiny. The anthropologist Richard Sosis analysed 19th-century cults and found the average lifespan was only 25 years, which makes them a little more durable than your average Silicon Valley start-up, but not by much. Within 80 years, nine out of 10 had disappeared altogether. In other words, the successful religions we see today are a tiny proportion of those that started out with high hopes.

Perhaps even worse for wannabe cultists, survival rates are dwindling all the time. We tend to be amazed by the flaring-up of new theologies when they reach our attention (two to three emerge every day somewhere in the world), but this is because most people are largely immune to them.

In the past 20 years, there has been virtually nothing to compare to the early growth rates of Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Islam or the 19th-century examples of the Latter-day Saints and Jehovah’s Witnesses, let alone early-20th-century Pentecostalism.

Mainstream religions are on the decline, too, almost certainly for the same reason — namely, the rise of science. According to one survey, people were asked whether religion was an important part of their lives. Clear majorities answered in the negative in France, Japan, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Australia. Among the big developed nations, only America and Italy bucked the trend. Indeed, the fastest-growing “belief” in much of the world is atheism, including in the Middle East.

We should not be complacent about QAnon, but I think we can be confident that it will prove no more sustainable than the dozens of other quasi-religious fantasies that have emerged online in recent years. We should also remember that the best antidote to cults is not censorship or suppression. It is not even ridicule, given that social disapproval is often taken as a badge of honour.

No, the surest antidote is rationality and science, educated populations with a willingness to put evidence above faith, data above anecdote, and statistical reasoning above conspiracy. You might even call it a new enlightenment.



--- Quote from: mrswah on January 17, 2021, 06:46:14 PM ---
I had to look it up to find out what it is !!!

--- End quote ---

As did I.
However that was over a week ago when the siege of the Capitol took place.
Since then one realises how deeply disturbing and worrying the politics of the USA have become.

Vertigo Swirl:

--- Quote from: Erngath on January 17, 2021, 10:34:33 PM ---As did I.
However that was over a week ago when the siege of the Capitol took place.
Since then one realises how deeply disturbing and worrying the politics of the USA have become.

--- End quote ---
Q Anon is growing in popularity here as well. 


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